This Day In History: 01/30

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

One of my pet peeves is instructors who use the piano to play examples but don't have the proficiency to do it without numerous repeats and mistakes. If the purpose of playing an example is to allow your students to assimilate music through a different sense other than sight, you're doing them no service by giving them a haphazard or improvised performance. Instructors who don't have the ability to play on sight (which there's nothing wrong with at all) should either use recordings, throw up a MIDI, or even practice before class.

I remember a theory instructor from my pre-college years who assigned a short composition to the class. When everyone finished their diatonic wonders the following week, they brought them in, anxious to hear how they sounded for real, with the instructor sight-reading at the piano. What followed probably did not compel many of those budding composers to appreciate their own work.

The Composers' Forum starts up again today for the first time this semester. It's a bi-weekly gathering of composers and interested innocent bystanders where various composers can present their past works. The Forum was new last semester, and so far it's worked out pretty well, drawing some outside music majors as well as the usual contigent of graduate composers. I think it would help to expand the influence of the composition department if we also had class-applied composing classes, and informal round-table looks at works in progress.

"Nothing is more futile than theorizing about music. No doubt there are laws, mathematically strict laws, but these laws are not music; they are only its conditions." - Heinrich Heine

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Thursday, January 30, 2003

The School of Music here is ramping up to its annual Festival of New Music, and it's going to be a doozy. Following daily two-hour master classes with guest composer, Shulamit Ran, every day this week, there'll be a new music concert tonight. Friday will feature four back-to-back concerts and Saturday will be host to three consecutive concerts and a moderated panel discussion.

I feel that as a contemporary composer, I should be salivating over all this new music goodness in one place, but in reality I'm seeing it as more of a chore than a gift -- maybe it's good that I'll be getting out of the profession when I am. It's not the content of the concerts that bothers me, it's the sheer amount. It's kind of like starting the Roots series but realizing in advance that Chicken George won't be around for another twelve hours or so. I'd rather have non-live versions of the music in the comfort of my home and take the pieces in slowly and at my own convenience.

By the way, our basketball cadre lost to "Happy Hour" on Tuesday night, 60-11. This might seriously affect our endorsement contracts.

Where they get frozen franks from
Arr! Thank goodness for my Daily Multiple Vitamins
Be proud of FSU music graduates

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Friday, January 30, 2004

The home inspection is taken care of, which checks one more task off the list. There were two major problems in the house, but luckily both were already covered in the original contract. My realtor's submitted an addendum with the specific requests for repair/replacement and the sellers now have two days to reply.

Tomorrow, I'm taking some friends up to see the touring production of Miss Saigon in Wilmington, Delaware. If I had been smarter I would have noticed the Richmond show last October, but at least Delaware isn't too far away. I'll be back late tomorrow night, but there will be no updates until Sunday.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    the bible is the most often shoplifted book in, wall walker soft sculpture, liz benyo, mr. clean fun facts, does a b sharp note exist, fake treasure maps

Covert toilet reveals unpaid parking fines

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Within twenty-four hours of mentioning Celeste Cheese Pizza-For-One's in my Friday Fragments column last week, I rediscovered them at Sam's Club. Normally, Sam's Club is something of a poor man's Costco -- its only redeeming features are its larger selection of TV DVDs, and the flour-shelled Beef & Cheese Chimichangas in the Frozen Foods aisle. The only reason I was there on Saturday was to pass the twenty minutes until the Best Buy across the street opened up. With a box of Chimichangas under my arm, I happened to glance across the aisle to see the pizzas sold in a bulk box of eight. The box looked just like it did in the eighties, with slightly darker earth tones. When I opened up two boxes for lunch that day, I discovered that the cardboard crisper circle now has an ornate design on the back, giving the impression that you could cut it into a Burger King crown if you so desired.

So, I popped a pizza into the microwave for exactly two minutes and forty-five seconds and then took the pizza (still on top of its box and crisper) to the top of the steps with a Calvin & Hobbes book to relive my yesteryears (Almost eighty percent of meals in my childhood were eaten on the landing in my split-level home, with me sitting on the second step and my food and a book on the top step). It still tasted exactly like I remembered!

Celeste pizzas are never fully cooked -- despite the space-technology crisper circle, the pizza will be crisp on the outside and the middle, but soggy along its inner radius. The cheese stays frozen in tiny pockets of tundracity while other areas of cheesiness melt too much, turning into a dark red rubbery material which some Amazon cultures use in place of honeycomb to repair holes in their skiffs. If you try to cook it any further, the cheese starts to harden and become unappetizing, and then the pizza becomes permanently attached to the crisper circle. The consistency of the pizza is much like the consistency of the crisper -- cardboard with a slightly papery aftertaste. Despite all of this, they still taste pretty darn good, because it's a childhood food, and every food you eat as a child elicits charming memories of wood elves and fairies. On the international pizza scale, I'd say they're still below Totino's but above Ellio's "Our pizzas look like giant rectangular Go Fish cards" pizzas. In the long run I'll stick with Totino's, but who can argue with an 80 cent pizza that takes less time to make than a bowl of soup?

Somewhere in the fuzziness of my memory, I'm recalling an old 80s movie where someone takes a whole Celeste pizza, rolls it up, and eats it like a wrap. I can't remember anymore than that though. Was it the refrigerator sex scene in Hot Shots with Charlie Sheen?

The couple will marry on Valentine's Day and plan to consummate their vows in a coffin
Google Earth shows Harry Potter on vacation
I go full reverse and blast him with all these seabed particles

tagged as reviews | permalink | 7 comments

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fun Screenshots Day

Some people argue that community colleges are unfairly maligned as providers of sub-par educations. This line from my server visitor logs might convince you otherwise... or not.



Black Snake Moan, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Chrisley, in theatres near you in February 2007

Note the left paw thumb claw -- a sign that it's time for the clippers.

(that's you!)

Happy Birthday Connelly Murphy and Tim Crowley!

Virginia School Fires Butt-Print Art Teacher
Eagle lugging deer head causes blackout
Python eats eleven dogs

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sick Day

Out sick.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

End of the Month Media Day

Pictures

Thanksgiving with the Family
December Festivities
January Festivities
Ella 2008
Cats

Movies

Ella does Paddy Cake (2MB WMV)
Ella does Paddy Cake (low quality 1MB MPG)
Ella does the Duck Song (5MB WMV)
Ella does the Duck Song (low quality 2MB MPG)

Happy end of January! Only 11 months until Christmas!

Cloned pets: Looks can be deceiving
Businessman hit by car; passers-by steal cash
Fire station burns after cooking mishap

tagged as media | permalink | 3 comments

Monday, January 30, 2012

Questions Day

I'm in the midst of weekend work involving the design and implementation of reusable data components, while Rebecca is studying for her first batch of Spring Semester tests, so there wasn't enough material to write a Weekend Wrap-up today.

Ask me about something. Habits, recommendations, trivia, opinions -- anything is fair game. I'll take the most interesting questions that don't involve any revelations of my bank account numbers and answer them later on this week.

Why popcorn smells like a bearcat's butt
Newly discovered color photos from inside Hitler's private home

tagged as you speak | permalink | 3 comments

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Time-lapsed Blogography Day

On January 30, 1995, I was in the midst of a five-day Band Trip to Disney World (as a junior). We spent this day in Epcot Center, starting with a workshop where we played music from Aladdin like we were a studio orchestra, and then wandered around the park for the rest of the day. I felt that the 3D "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids" ride was the best. After a really awful Polynesian Luau, we returned to the Disney hotel and partied late into the night. Actually, everyone else partied and I took it upon myself to be the chaperone-lookout so no one would get caught. What a nice guy!

On January 30, 1999, I went with Shac and Philip to the movies in Christiansburg. For some reason, we always let Shac pick the movie, and this was the fateful night where he chose The Thin Red Line. We spent the entire movie waffling between walking out or getting our money's worth. All I can remember of this movie now is that there were a ton of poetry voiceovers and slow motion shots of people looking across a field while blinking.

On January 30, 2000, I completed coding on Augmented Fourth, and had just put out a call on the newsgroups (rec.arts.int-fiction) for beta testers. Remember newsgroups?

On January 30, 2001, I turned pages at the music Convocation, and then skipped CS 4634: Design of Information. Instead, Anna and I went out to the New River to walk around a bit before Symphony Band. It must have been unseasonably warm.

On January 30, 2003, the FSU Music Theory basketball team lost to "Capitol Coin and Diamond", 49-37.

On January 30, 2004, my realtor wrote an addendum to the contract for this house, demanding that the old owners replace the heat pump. The home inspection the day before had revealed that it didn't actually work at all.

On January 30, 2008, I caught the flu.

On January 30, 2011, Kathy and Chris came over for games and pizza while potential townhouse buyers wandered through their old house.

tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Answers Day

the sequel to Questions Day

Shouldn't there be a better toothpaste tube by now? It seems to me that the squeezing and dispensing both have room for improvement. - Doobie

The serious answer would probably be that toothpaste is so close to commodity status that there's no money in further improvements to the tube (ever since they introduced the giant "old person" cap in the 90s). This is also why Comet Cleanser cans still release a mushroom cloud of powder when you ever-so-gently set the can on the counter -- they could have fixed that, but everyone's still going to buy the old one, so what's the point?

Should this situation ever change, here are some alternatives that might work.

PEZ Dispenser: Pull back the head of your favourite cartoon character and a single serving of toothpaste squirts out onto your toothbrush.

Push Pop: Merge the head of a toothbrush with a push pop dispenser. As you push up, toothpaste flows through the hollow stem of the toothbrush and directly into the bristles.

Chap Stick: A twist-bottom tube of nearly-solid toothpaste (with a texture more like spread butter than squishy poo) can be applied directly to the teeth, and then brushed away.

Rattlesnake Bionics: Alter human genetics to add tiny sacs which generate toothpaste and an abrasive in the roof of your mouth. When you are ready to clean, fire the toothpaste into your mouth and swish it around, like a dishwasher or self-cleaning oven, and then spit. No brushing need!

tagged as you speak | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, January 30, 2015

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2015 album.

  • Events
    • Entered the year sick with the flu, like Rebecca (We are The Floo Fighters).

    • Had a Fake New Year's Party for all of the people who work normal weekday schedules on 1/3.

    • Had dinner with Amanda and Frank on 1/10.

    • On 1/16, had dinner with West Coast Mike, who is imminently moving back to DC (so it's kind of like his Recapitulation).

    • Celebrated Uncle Dave's birthday at Creek's Edge Winery on 1/17.

    • Went to the doctor for my lingering cold on 1/22 and got antibiotics and an asthma inhaler.

    • Had Rebecca's work folks over for a party on 1/23, just before the wimpy snow.

    • Returned to Crooked Run Brewery on 1/25.

    • Went to Mellow Mushroom for dinner three separate times this month because we are addicted.

    • Planning to go to Richmond to see Sam and Kristen this weekend.

  • Projects
    • Released DDMSence v2.5.0 on 1/1.

    • Started studying for an AWS Certification, but lost focus during flu fighting.

    • Transitioned to a new R&D project at work, while still supporting proposals, only to find that the old project still needs me for a bit longer. Now multitasking.

  • Consumerism
    • Enjoyed seasons of Lilyhammer, Modern Family, and Black Mirror.

    • Listened to the Hilltop Hoods ad nauseum.

    • Got bored with World of Warcraft again at level 80, and letting my account lapse. Playing The Talos Principle and Hearthston in the meantime until something better goes on a Steam Sale.

January's Final Grade: C, too much cold air and coughing muted the high points

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 3 comments

Monday, January 30, 2017

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

A few photos have been added to the Life, 2017 album. Google Photos sucks.

  • Events
    • Met up with Holland Marc for burgers at Burger 21 on M 1/2.

    • Had the 2nd (of 3) Book Club meetings for Hyperion on S 1/7.

    • Had a late Christmas with the Whitmer/Link side of the family on S 1/8.

    • Had a Taste of Burma / Costco date night on F 1/13.

    • Had a team meeting followed by dinner at FQB on W 1/18.

    • Went to a work Happy Hour in Herndon on H 1/19.

    • Went to a Cake Eating Party at Parry's on F 1/20.

    • Went to a Puppy Birthday Party at Ghazaleh and Mike's on S 1/21.

    • Had a visit from Oklahoma Emily on T 1/24.

    • Met Rebecca's parents for lunch at Tuscarora Mill followed by a tasting at Crooked Run on S 1/28. Hosted Fredericksburg Catherine that evening before an early Dulles flight to Curacao.

  • Projects
    • No new projects this month, although I switched to 2 days per week in office at work, saving plenty of time for other things.

  • Consumerism
    • Got to level 490 in Overwatch (501 hours played).

    • No good new music this month, but enjoyed the first season of Sneaky Pete.

    • Converted my Washington Post subscription to Sundays only, saving $500 a year

January's Final Grade: B, still busy but Rebecca's feeling better, so we're doing a little more than we did last month!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

End-of-the-Month Highlights Day

New photos have been added to the Life, 2019 album. Google Photos sucks.

  • Events
    • Visited the slowly-decaying Reston Town Center (thanks, paid parking!) in the evening on T 1/1 and had dinner at Potbelly's.

    • Had food truck food for dinner at Old Ox Brewery on F 1/4 and let Maia dance around someone's 40th birthday party in the back room while listening to Coldplay covers.

    • Rebecca went to Literary Cocktails with Hannah and Marc on S 1/5.

    • Rebecca, Maia, and grandparents took a walking tour of Meadowlark's Christmas light show while BU had a solo dad date at Miller's on S 1/6.

    • Maia got to visit the Uri grandparents on W 1/9.

    • Rebecca and Maia went to the Smith's for a Girl's Night on F 1/11. I had dinner at Miller's, read The Three-Body Problem in the bath, played the new-old Mario game for the Switch, and did some old Advent of Code puzzles.

    • Got 7 - 8 inches of snow on S 1/13 and shoveled with Maia.

    • Got another inch or so of snow on H 1/17.

    • Had dinner at Ford's Fish Shack on F 1/18, followed by Maia running all over Old Ox Brewery.

    • Had Tammy over for dinner on S 1/19.

    • Had a Mellow Mushroom dinner followed by a romp at Twinpanzee Brewery on F 1/25.

    • Attended the crazy company party at the MGM National Harbor on S 1/26.

    • Had Car and Jessika over for Friend Dinner on S 1/27.

    • Had dinner at The V on M 1/28.

    • Got about 2" of snow on T 1/29.

  • Projects
    • Released a new version of Sparkour on S 1/6.

    • Cleaned the house from top to bottom while Rebecca and Maia were at the Smith's on S 12/12.

    • Finished the 2015 - 2016 editions of Advent of Code throughout the month.

    • Updated my Photo Album code upon the final death knell of Picasa.

  • Consumerism
    • Not much gaming this month, balancing time between Assassin's Creed: Odyssey on the PC and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on the Switch.

    • Trying a bunch of new music based on Pandora likes, but nothing amazing or fresh at the moment.

    • Enjoyed watching Barry, Season One. Working my way back through Person of Interest as well.

January's Final Grade: B+, Could have been a little warmer, but otherwise nice and relaxing.

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

 

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